Tag Archives: Al Gore

Why isn’t Rush happy?: Limbaugh inadvertently illustrates democracy in action

America’s democratic ideal doesn’t work perfectly. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all, and in these cases it feeds our cynicism to the point where we’re tempted to conclude that the very possibility of true freedom is a sham. I know whereof I speak, because there are few people out there more soaked in bile than I am.

Still, this whole “marketplace of ideas” is a marvelous concept. Perhaps the most marvelous concept in history. Drawing on the Miltonian belief that if people are allowed to enter the agora and freely state their cases, then “the truth will out” (that is, an educated and informed citizenry will unerringly perceive the truth and that weaker ideas will be disregarded in favor of stronger ones), our nation’s founders crafted a Constitution that assured people the right to voice their opinions, free from government intrusion. Read more

An open letter to America’s progressive billionaires

Dear Mr. Buffet, Mr. Gates, Mr. Turner, Mr. Soros, Ms. Winfrey, and any other hyper-rich types with progressive political leanings:

If this essay has, against all odds, somehow made its way to your desk, please, bear with me. It’s longish, but it winds eventually toward an exceedingly important conclusion. If you’ll give me a few minutes, I’ll do my best to reward your patience.
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In the 2008 election, Barack Obama won a landmark political victory on a couple of prominent themes: “hope” and “change.” He has since been afforded ample opportunity to talk about these ideas, having inherited the nastiest economic quagmire in living memory and a Republican minority in Congress that has interpreted November’s results as a mandate to obstruct the public interest even more rabidly than it was doing before. Reactions among those of us who supported Obama have been predictably mixed, but even those who have been critical of his efforts to date are generally united in their hope that his win signaled the end of “movement conservatism” in the US. Read more

The man, the war hero, the…uhhh…inventor?

The fact is that Al Gore never claimed that he invented the Internet.

We all joke about it, of course, and his opponents made ungodly amounts of political hay with the distortion.

So, in the interest of bipartisan fairness, I’m sure we can trust everyone (yes, I mean you, FOX “News”) to do what’s appropriate with this breaking tidbit.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, John McCain invented the Blackberry.

LIFE and the long view: ideologies of science and technology since the Enlightenment

Part two in a series.

As I suggested in Part One, the messianic/utopian view of science and technology attributed to LIFE Magazine is consistent with an ideological bent that traces its lineage to the dawn of the Enlightenment in Europe.

Francis Bacon’s highly influential New Atlantis, first published in 1626, recounts the narrator’s fictional shipwreck on the shores of Bensalem, a lost utopia, and offers one of the earliest testaments to the potential of applied science (Outhwaite & Bottomore 1994). In an extended ceremony, Bacon is given to know the seemingly limitless bounty of Bensalem’s scientific expertise. Bensalem is well versed in all manner of advanced technology: refrigeration and preservation, mining, agriculture, astronomy, meteorology, genetics, animal husbandry, desalination, medicine, musicology, mechanics, air flight, and mathematics are literally only a few of the society’s advanced technological arts. Read more

Prominent dingbat wants to sue Al Gore for fraud

Hoo boy.

The founder of the Weather Channel wants to sue Al Gore for fraud, hoping a legal debate will settle the global-warming debate once and for all.

John Coleman, who founded the cable network in 1982, suggests suing for fraud proponents of global warming, including Al Gore, and companies that sell carbon credits.

“Is he committing financial fraud? That is the question,” Coleman said.

That may be a question, but I assure you, it’s not the question. Read more

An open letter to Progressive America

Dear America,

I’d like to begin with a confession: I didn’t vote in 2000. It’s the only presidential election since I turned 18 that I’ve sat out, and I’m more than embarrassed about it. It remains one of the biggest mistakes of my political life, and that’s saying something. The fact that my participation wouldn’t have made any difference (I lived in Massachusetts at the time) affords no solace, nor should it. I was stupid. I fucked up. Period.

See, I talked myself into some profound silliness. Read more

Blogging USA: Thinkworld vs. Shoutworld

This article originally appeared in the Shoptalk section of the Editor & Publisher online edition.


— High hopes for the watchdogs in the blogosphere during Campaign 2004 were only partly realized, as consumers strapped on their blinders and hung a fast left or right, looking for a witty putdown they might agree with.

(November 13, 2004) — Expectations were high among the legions surfing the blogosphere during 2004 election campaign. Web logs speaking from the left, right, and middle (although mostly the left and right) crowded every corner of the Net, and their explosive growth and perceived influence led both Democratic and GOP leaders to extend convention credentials to online journalists.

All of the sudden, the real world was taking bloggers seriously. Read more